by Ali Cudby An Original Approach to Bra Fit at La Fille d’O
It’s always exciting to discover brands that are thinking in new and innovative ways about lingerie – particularly when it comes to bra fit.
La Fille d’O is one of those brands. A Belgian company that was created in 2003, their architectural take on lingerie and unique approach to sizing challenges is a great example of designers understanding the existing issues with fit and seeking solutions for their customers.
(“Different Suit” bra, with white and sheer tulle)
Owner/designer Murielle Scherre created La Fille d’O out of a desire to combine function and form in lingerie. The name is derived from the erotica classic “The Story of O,” and Scherre’s inspiration, “indicates a new generation of women who are eager to please whilst keeping their self respect and wit.”
Stemming from that philosophical approach, Scherre began with a belief that her product should be pleasurable for her customers. According to Scherre, “many women think of themselves as having ‘difficult breasts.’ To me, there is no such thing.” [NOTE: The psychological issues that affect women when bra shopping is also documented in my book,
Busted! The Fab Foundations Guide to Bras That Fit, Flatter and Feel
Fantastic.] Scherre’s customer and fit orientation gets translated into design.
What makes La Fille d’O particularly innovative is its approach to sizing, which stems from the design. The bras have more opportunities for customized adjustment. Generally speaking, bras have a 5cm adjustment in the band via stationary hook and eye settings. La Fille d’O bands do not use the standard hook and eye closures, and their adjustment system allows for a 15cm adjustment, which means three different back sizes in one bra. This is good for consumers, who then have more options to customize fit.
(A look at La Fille d’O’s unique back adjustment, “Classic Keep” style bra)
Increased flexibility in adjusting band size is helpful on several levels. First, not all bodies are designed to fit into the exact increments of hooks and eyes in standard bras. A slider means that a woman can adjust her fit more precisely. It also means more opportunity to fine-tune as the garment stretches with use. Finally, for women who experience more dramatic shifts in size – such as when breastfeeding or going through their monthly cycle – a slider allows for a more customization. This fit methodology is also beneficial for retailers, as they are able to stock fewer SKUs to fit their customers.
Once freed from a band/cup combination, the sizing must change, and La Fille d’O uses sizes that progress numerically, from 1 to 7. With fit being paramount to the brand, not all styles are made in all sizes.
La Fille d’O uses a very basic color palette – white, “nude” and navy – and plays extensively with sheer fabrics. The sheers are brought into the designs in surprising places – areas of the body other brands generally seek to conceal. It is this combination of architectural lines and voyeuristic sensuality that makes La Fille d’O visually arresting and original. The brand is unapologetically not for everyone, yet is full-service for the women it appeals to, offering styles ranging from post-mastectomy to maternity to swim.
(“Going Exact” maternity bra and “Bright Blue” brief)
Ali Cudby is the author of the book Busted! The Fab Foundations™ Guide to Bras That Fit, Flatter and
Feel Fantastic (December 2011), and CEO of Fab Foundations™, an intimate apparel consulting company.
Ali can be found on Twitter @alicudby, and you can be a fan of the Ali Cudby’s page on
Facebook. To learn more about bras that fit, download a free chapter of
Lipgloss & Lace
by Mandie Mutchie
A new craze going on is Boudoir Photography - I've seen cards in boutiques, and even specials on Good Morning, America. If you are somehow unaware of what Boudoir Photography is, let me spell it out for you! Basically, it is the chance for women to make their significant other realize how lucky they are... She does a photoshoot in the style of Maxim (or for the more daring, Playboy), or a pinup shoot, and gives the final photos as a gift to their lover. it is a chance for the women to remind themselves of how sexy they are by getting dolled up like a supermodel and showin' what she's got! I did makeup and hair for a maternity boudoir shoot the other day, and it was awesome to see the subject's transformation as she went from a shy Middle School Math teacher (just like I used to be - haha!) to a vampy siren! Her personality changed, and and she began giving poses and facial expressions I'm sure her students never imagined were possible!
You may be wondering - what does this have to do with me?
As a lingerie boutique or manufacturer, you could definitely make the best of this craze. How?
Contact local photographers that do boudoir photography and offer a flyer share (each can put the other's flyer in a prominent place at their business or on their websites) and/or discount share. Provide catalogues, items and accessories for examples for during the consultation in exchange for mentioning your name, or even offer boudoir consultations yourself! One thing that I have been very surprised for, during the time that I have spent working in a lingerie boutique is that WAY more women than I would ever expect are clueless and afraid when it comes to lingerie! I guess I took it for granted that most women thought like me - a lingerie model! I am sure that many women would appreciate the help of a professional when choosing what lacy bra to wear under the classic white button-down! The specific shoot that I was a part of was a woman and her friend (who had done the same thing before - a maternity boudoir shoot) was there for moral support and to offer tips. This makes me think that it would be fun to have a boudoir-driven party! You could even possibly take the pictures the same night, if there is ample space for a portable pop-up studio or pretty locations for the shoot.
Boudoir photography is taking the country by storm - this is a perfect opportunity for the lingerie industry! Best of luck incorporating it into your marketing!
Mutchie began her professional modeling career nearly ten years ago, and
has appeared in many national and international publications, and
commercials. Over the course of her modeling career,
she worked with many acclaimed makeup artists, learning from them along
the way. She eventually became a makeup artist herself and started
FaceScape Artistry. Now she works with incredible photographers, models,
brides, and other clients to create glamorous as well as natural makeup
looks. She also channels her passion for fitness and nutrition and desire
to help others into her work as a beachbody coach, and is pursuing her
Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction.
For more information on Mandie go to www.MandieM.com, www.facescapeartistry.com,
email Mandie at email@example.com or
follow her on Twitter @mandelicious. Don't forget to
"like" her pages on facebook, too! www.facebook.com/MandieLM
*Photo by Rafal Krolik of Seville Media Three Easy Ways To
Build Upselling Into Your
by Holly Jackson
Every designer and boutique owner that I know struggles with one big issue: how to sell full sets of lingerie. Brick and mortar stores frequently struggle with customers who are reluctant to buy both a bra and the matching panty, while online retailers worry about buyers who are nervous about buying a bra before being fitted into it. In some cases, online buyers are much more likely to buy a pair of panties than the full set.
If any of this sounds familiar, keep reading. Today I'm going to give you some quick tips on up selling in general, and how upselling can really help your bottom line.
1. Offer a discount if they complete the set.
This works for both brick and mortar boutiques and online stores. If you're an online store, simply tuck a classy coupon in offering a small discount on the remaining item or items in the set. You can also make this a policy at your brick and mortar boutique, which may encourage women to pick up the whole set even if they don't strictly need it.
I've seen this work really well around holidays and special occasions as well. One designer offered a large discount off a six piece set this past Valentine's Day, which I thought was brilliant.
2. Shift your customer's mindset.
Many women feel like buying a bra is like going to the hardware store: it's difficult, intimating, and all you get at the end is an expensive tool. While the popularity of nude t-shirt bras won't ever diminish, encouraging your customers to get out of their comfort zones and see themselves in a new light can help up your sales. Women are more likely to purchase a full set that they feel sexy and powerful in than a basic set. Sexier or more fashion forward sets can also be a great way to introduce extras like garter belts and different types of stockings. If you're an online boutique, make sure that you're showcasing fashion forward and colorful options along with the tried and true basics.
3. Offer different options for different personalities.
I am friends with dozens of women who are lingerie lovers, and we all have very different tastes. We've all got different personalities, and upselling to each of us would require a different offer. Some would accessorize with handcuffs or pasties, while some would go for practical stockings and a small bottle of lingerie wash in case of emergencies. It's obviously not practical to have a set of combinations for every person, but there is a way to bring different personalities into your marketing.
Honestly, this is where a copywriter (or at least a professional ghost blogger) can come in handy. Make sure when you're blogging or using social media that you're also presenting options that appeal to a range of personalities, ages, body types, and budgets. This can be done with a quick outfit post or a gift guide that encompasses many different types of customers. Either way, a wider variety of fans means a wider variety of sales. Holly Jackson owns The Full Figured Chest Copywriting, and specializes in lingerie writing and online content creation for lingerie companies. Her work can be found on lingerie boutique websites across the world as well as in national level campaigns. She currently writes six regular lingerie and marketing columns, and is a regular contributor to The Lingerie Addict and The Lingerie Journal as well as
McPeteSez. In 2011, The Lingerie Journal named her their number one copywriter in the lingerie industry.
Holly can be found tweeting @thefullfigurechest,
Facebook, and reviewing the newest full-busted lingerie at her blog,
www.thefullfiguredchest.com. Her list of copywriting services can be found
J Valentine 2012
Swimwear Collection J Valentine is ready for summer with their hot 2012 swimwear collection. The sneak peek video and photos feature model
Sara Jean Underwood, Playboy Playmate of the Year and
CurveNY Continued in the April 1
issue of McPete Sez
Delicious Sexywear of
New York Launches 2012
Delicious Sexywear of New York, a division of Rubie’s Costume Company Inc. is proud to announce the addition of over 40 new styles for 2012, including the expansion of the Extra Delicious plus-size line. The revamped collection made its eye-catching debut at the annual Halloween and Party Expo in
Houston, Texas. Filled with fashion-forward designs and figure-friendly creations, the entire collection will be available nationwide to retailers this upcoming Halloween season.
Dedicated to creating trend setting designs, Delicious continues to blend high quality fabrics with superior fit to satisfy the needs of today’s fashion conscious consumers. From Flappers and Cops to Gangsters and Goddesses, there’s something sexy for everyone. The introduction of new characters also helps create a story, while offering consumers the opportunity to dress up as a group.
“Halloween is all about creating an alter ego and living in a fantasy world filled with fun, excitement and envy.” stated Patty Gatto, Delicious National Sales Director. “To make these fantasies come to life, we incorporate intricate detailing and updated styling into each and every design. As a company, it is our mission to research, listen and stay in-tune with the latest trends, styles and pop culture influences so we are able to offer the young female demographic exciting new options to choose from year after year”.
Moving forward, innovation remains a top priority. Delicious offers new rectangular packaging and has expanded the exclusively licensed Playboy Costume Collection to include a variety of new styles for their customers that have curves. And in true Playboy tradition, this ultra-sexy line embraces self confidence, individualism and a touch of class.
With a new year comes a new look and Delicious Sexywear of New York promises to provide competitive pricing, exceptional customer service and the best designs of 2012. Why? Because every woman deserves to look Delicious. About Delicious Sexywear of New York Delicious Sexywear of New York, a division of Rubie's Costume Company, Inc. is an international designer, manufacturer and wholesaler of sexy Halloween costumes. Delicious provides top-quality costumes that are inspired by NYC's Fashion district, designed by Fashion Avenue trained designers, pattern-makers and fabric buyers. Offering over 150 unique designs, Delicious also includes costumes officially licensed by Playboy®. As one of the most iconic brands in the world, Delicious by Playboy offers highly styled, ultra-feminine costumes that are beautifully showcased in upscale packaging. For more information please call 516-281-2800 or visit
Eldorado Releases 2012
Party On with Profits
Award-winning adult distributor Eldorado is proud to release its 2012 Bachelorette catalog.
The latest catalog from the Colorado company arrives at retailers this week and is stocked with the latest Bachelorette supplies, games, and novelties from the adult and party industry.
"We've seen tremendous growth in bachelorette and party products and Eldorado wants to ensure our customers take advantage of this growing market," says Eldorado CEO and founder Larry Garland. "I'm proud of our team for producing such a valuable and effective sales tool. Party on!"
The 2012 Bachelorette catalog from Eldorado features an enormous selection
with items from Pipedream, Forum Novelties, Cal Exotics, Kheper Games, Little Genie, Kalan, OMG, Ball & Chain, Hott Products, Avelli, sassigirl, Beistle, Candyprints, Creative Converting, Dreamgirl, Kama Sutra, Pastease, Elegant Moments, Seven 'til Midnight, Fantasy Lingerie, and so much more.
Contact your account manager today at 800-525-0848 to get your copy.
An award-winning distributor of adult toys and novelties, Eldorado is committed to providing products that enhance special occasions for adults everywhere. Eldorado prides itself on sensational service, outstanding product selection, and unsurpassed delivery to and for its customers. For more information please contact Eldorado's sales department at 800-525-0848, or
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.Eldorado.net
The Pirate A sailor meets a pirate in a bar, and they take turns recounting their adventures at sea. Noting the pirate's peg-leg, hook, and eye patch, the sailor asks, "So, how did you end up with the peg-leg?"
The pirate replies "We was caught in a monster storm off the cape and a giant wave swept me overboard. Just as they were pullin' me out, a school of sharks appeared and one of 'em bit me leg off".
"Blimey!" said the sailor. "What about the hook?"
"Ahhhh...", mused the pirate, "We were boardin' a trader ship, pistols blastin' and swords swingin' this way and that. In the fracas me hand got chopped off."
"Zounds!" remarked the sailor. "And how came ye by the eye patch?"
"A seagull droppin' fell into me eye", answered the pirate.
"You lost your eye to a seagull dropping?" the sailor asked incredulously.
"Well..." said the pirate, "..it was me first day with the hook."
Pantone Launches New
Color Cloud Version X-Rite, owner of the Pantone color service, has launched a new cloud version providing what it describes as “instant access to essential brand
PantoneLive is the first service launched by the new Pantone Digital Business Unit, which is headed by Dr Sonia Megert.
The company said the service was especially useful given the number of recent high-profile cases of counterfeiting, deception and consumer confusion, such as footwear company Christian Louboutin fighting to trademark its signature red soles.
The system works by storing brand color data in a secure, cloud-based portal, allowing brand owners and other members of the supply chain to manage digital rights.
“Globally consistent color standards are essential to brand identity,” said Dr Megert. “With supply chains made up of hundreds of different facilities scattered around the world, corporations struggle to control and maintain
Gozooko.com is a business technology and web hosting company. With over 20 years experience working with Fortune 500 companies the Gozooko Guy’s design, develop, deploy, and manage business technology solutions. Gozooko’s core focus is to provide affordable and efficient hosted ecommerce solutions to small and medium businesses. The past 3 years they have been working with manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers in the apparel industry. Gozooko has data centers in the western and central US, and services customers around the globe. The Gozooko Guy’s goal is to provide our customers with easy and affordable ecommerce solutions that allow them to spend time focusing on their core business and sales, instead of working on their ecommerce solution.”Please send your questions about business and technology to
ASK MARA ......The Lingerie Maven
I have been in the Intimate Apparel business for 47 years. From shipping, office work and customer service, fit model, showroom and road sales, to national sales manager, upper management, and design....I have done it all! And now, I hope to pass it on to you.
Though close to celebrating 50 years in the same business, of which 25 have been at Shirley of Hollywood, I still feel on the top of my game. I am as excited as ever about the merchandise and the possibility of aiding new and old customers with my wealth of expertise. Owning a retail store should be a wonderful and lucrative experience. In these tough economical times, a few choice pieces of knowledge can maximize your potential sales. After all, we all have to compete with the Macy's and Victoria's Secret Stores that have lured away customers with their sharp merchandising and low prices. There has to be a reason to shop at your store.
Let me share some of my ideas and experience with you. And, it is all free from Shirley of Hollywood...our gift to you. So email me at my new address:
email@example.com. I will promptly answer and gear my answer to you personally.
Mara "Ask Andy" Andy Weinstock has been in the fabric and textile business all his life, but professionally since 1969.
"I love what I do, selling fabrics around the globe. I've met lots of interesting, creative, dynamic folks; some have become dear friends. I love to help new businesses find the things they need to become successful. It works for everyone." You can ask Andy questions about Fabrics at Andy@mcpetesez.com
The "Ask Andy", "Ask Mara" & 'Ask Goozoko Guys' Columns are opinion Columns and may not necessarily reflect the views of McPete Sez
The McPete Sez Lingerie Newsletter & Women's Wear Journal